Editorial—Controlling

Whether you like it or not, whether you realize it or not, there are some people who CONTROL your life. They have influenced you in many ways, whether in decision making or in your sense of right and wrong, good and bad. According to Dave Navarro, a famous American guitarist, there are five people secretly CONTROLLING your life through their influence on your decision making. It happens “secretly” because you really don’t realize that it is going on. The five influences that David named are: (1) your HERO; (2) your NEMESIS; (3) your PARENTS; (4) your PARTNER or SPOUSE, and (5) your own IMAGE of yourself (https://www.mdjunction.com/forums/positive-thinking-discussions/general-support/2950534-5-people-who-secretly-control-your-life).

      I found David’s point of view to be absolutely true. When I was young and single, sometimes my life was “out of CONTROL,” or not in order. I ate foods that were available without considering the nutritional value; my attire was not properly color coordinated; I woke up every morning at any random time I wanted to wake up; I spent money based on want, not need, and without considering whether or not I could afford the purchase. The bottom line is that I lived in a different world from that of my later marriage. My spouse has “CONTROLLED” my life since we got married. She prepares healthful and nutritious foods for me; she arranges what color of necktie, shirt, and pants I should wear; she schedules my sleeping time; she CONTROLS my spending; and in many other things as well she keeps my life “in her CONTROL.” Her control has made my life better. At first I felt uneasy giving up some of my autonomy and being “CONTROLLED” by my spouse. But at the end of the day, I found it beneficial. My quality of life improved, and I am forever grateful to her.

      The dictionary defines the word “CONTROL” as “the power to influence or direct people’s behavior.” One would think that the opposite of “CONTROL” is “surrender.” Yet Jesus surrenders His life to God the Father, but at the same time He also can CONTROL our lives if we fully surrender to Him. Ellen White wrote in “The Humble Hero” (The Desire of Ages, page 89): “But the Son of God was surrendered to the Father’s will and dependent on His power. Christ made no plans for Himself. Day by day the Father unfolded His plans. So should we depend on God, so that our lives may be the simple working out of His will.”

      Rather than choosing to CONTROL His own life, Jesus instead chose to surrender everything to the will of His Father. When He was in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before He was arrested, Jesus was tempted to take back the CONTROL from His Father. He prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matt. 26:39, NIV). Jesus surrendered to His Father’s will. In turn, He calls us to surrender our lives to Him and to let Him CONTROL every aspect of our lives and our plans.

      To answer His call, let us surrender our lives to God and His will, depending on Him to work things out and to CONTROL our situation. Let us say as Jesus said in John 5:30, “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me” (NIV). Surrendering to Him and letting Him CONTROL our lives will please God and make Him happy.

Hiskia Missah
Editor